Kylo Ren: Character Explained

Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker

Kylo Ren, named Ben Solo at birth, was an antagonist affiliated with the Dark Side of the Force. Like Anakin Skywalker, he was yet another one originating from the Jedi ranks who was seduced to defect to the Dark Side instead. However, he and Anakin (also known as Darth Vader after his defection) had one major difference. It is that the former still felt the Light Side calling him back, which made him struggle with his feelings and affiliations to the Dark.

His first appearance was in The Force Awakens (Episode VII). Then in 2017 and 2019, his character played some roles again in The Last Jedi (Episode VIII) and The Rise of Skywalker (Episode IX), respectively.

Early Life and Defection

Ben Solo was born to Han Solo and Princess Leia. Despite being a coined term, he inherited the surname Solo anyway. Han did not have that much of a close relationship with his son, depriving him of parental love and making him prone to the taunts of the Dark Side.

Not having good ties with his parents, he would often find a distaste for them and the Jedis. One night, Luke had a vision that Ben would bring immense destruction to the Jedi Temple. Not wanting this to happen, Luke intended to kill Ben in his sleep. However, before he succeeded in stabbing him using his lightsaber, Ben woke up. Seeing that a Jedi was about to kill him, he developed a hatred for them, and he eventually defected to the Dark Side. Seeing Luke about to kill him was the last straw for him.

credit: Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

The Force Awakens

In the events of Episode VI, we found out that Luke Skywalker isolated himself intending to outlive all of the Jedi. Due to this, everyone was looking after him. And by everyone, I mean the Jedis and the Siths alike. Among those Siths who were looking for Skywalker, Kylo Ren was one of them and was characterized to be eager to find the map pointing to Skywalker’s location throughout the episode.

He killed a village leader from Jakku, named Lor San Tekka, after the latter refused to give him the map of the Jedi’s location. He continued his desperate attempts by kidnapping Poe, the pilot, but he realized that he couldn’t achieve anything from the pilot because he kept the map inside the droid BB-8. In Takdona, he captured a Jedi apprentice, Rey, because he sensed that she was made aware of the map. He attempted to mindread through her to obtain the information he needed, but the Jedi apprentice resisted the mindreading and used Jedi trickery to make one of the stormtroopers free her.

Later on, Han Solo arrived at the Starkiller Base and saw Kylo Ren, who to him seemed very familiar. He then realized that it was his son, Ben Solo. Han tried to convince Kylo Ren to turn his back on the Dark Side, but he refused and killed his father.

Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker

Kylo and Rey

During the events of The Last Jedi, Kylo and Rey had secured a Force connection. Not being able to kill Rey, Supreme Leader Snoke informed him that he failed and that he must redeem himself by destroying a lead Resistance spaceship. Kylo did not allow it because he sensed her mother, Princess Leia, to be there. His minions still attacked the ship anyway, killing Leia.

Kylo brought Rey before Snoke, who tried to force her to give away Luke’s location. Once he had enough, Snoke ordered Kylo to kill the Jedi, but instead of killing whom he was told to kill, he killed Snoke instead. Upon their escape, he revealed that he still cared for her.

In The Rise of the Skywalker, Kylo has a vision of her mother, and that makes him regret everything. He renounced the Dark Side and took back his former identity of Ben Solo.

After the resurrected Palpatine revealed that he manipulated him so that he turned to the Dark Side, Ben and Rey teamed up to defeat Palpatine. The Sith Lord pushed Ben to a bottomless pit, and Rey managed to kill Palpatine but ended up draining his life in the process. After Ben got back up from the pit, he transferred his life essence to Rey, consequently draining him of his life. The two kissed as Ben faded into the Force.

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